FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Genetic Consultation and Testing

Do you have questions about genetic testing, genetic consultations and our services? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.


What is genetic testing?

Genetic testing – sometimes called genomic testing – finds changes in the genetic material that can cause health problems. It’s mainly used to diagnose rare and inherited health conditions and some cancers.

Why would I be offered a genetic test?

You may be offered a genetic test because:

  • your doctor thinks you or your child might have a health condition caused by a change in the genetic material involving one or more genes
  • someone in your family has a health condition that’s caused by changes in the genetic material
  • some of your close relatives have had a particular type of cancer that could be inherited
  • you or your partner have a health condition that could be passed on to your children

If you have any questions, talk to us about having a genetic test.

What a genetic test can tell me

A genetic test can:

  • help to diagnose a rare health condition in a child
  • help you understand whether an inherited health condition may affect you, your child or another family member, and help you decide whether to have children
  • show if you are at higher risk of getting certain health conditions, including some types of cancer
  • guide doctors in deciding what medicine or treatment to give you and individualise therapy options.

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Where can I arrange to have a blood draw?

In case that genetic testing is being recommended, Schell Genetics will provide you with Instructions for sample collection and sample dispatch, so the phlebotomist knows which tubes to use and how the sample needs to be processed. Please see the Directory of Phlebotomy Services for hospitals, clinics and private phlebotomy services who offer a blood draw.

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Can I have an in-person appointment with Dr Schell-Apacik?

Schell Genetics is an online practice, offering online genetic consultations primarily. However, there may be occasions where a face-to-face consultation with a patient (and their family if appropriate) may be considered more beneficial. In these cases, there is the possibility to have an in-person appointment with Dr Schell-Apacik at 10 Harley St in London. 

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I already have had a cancer diagnosis. What can genetic consultation and genetic testing do for me now?

If you have cancer diagnosis, we will ask you about any close blood relatives who have had cancer as well. We will use the information about your family to assess if your cancer might be linked to an inherited cancer gene, or if there is a chance that cancer may run in your family.

Affected individuals with a cancer syndrome may have an increased risk of developing other tumours as, such as contralateral breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, or uterine cancer. Likewise, relatives of an affected person may have an increased risk of developing a tumour.

Depending on the type of cancer and your level of risk, we may give you and your doctor information about treatment options and screening advice tailored to your individual situation.

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What are your fees for a genetic consultation?

We have made it our goal to offer you an appointment as promptly as possible in order to answer your questions as quickly as possible. We acknowledge that each case is unique and requires an individualised approach. To prepare for an appointment, you may be asked to fill in a questionnaire and provide as much information as possible including your family and medical history as well as previous clinical reports and genetic reports, if available.

Depending on the complexity of the issue, the questions asked, the circumstances, and the setting, an initial appointment may take one or two hours and cost £190 to £480 which usually includes the consultation and a summary/ medical genetics report for you and the referring/ managing specialist. Not included are any fees regarding genetic tests which might be recommended during the consultation.

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Does insurance cover the costs?

In many cases, health insurance plans will not only cover the costs of genetic consultations but cover the costs of genetic testing as well when it is recommended by a specialised doctor/ a clinical geneticist. However, health insurance providers have different policies about which tests are covered. Therefore, we will provide you with a cost estimate for any recommended genetic testing after the consultation and encourage you to get a pre-authorisation from your health insurance provider prior testing.

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What if I have concerns about privacy and the confidentiality of my genetic consultation and testing records and the risk of genetic discrimination?

Insurers will always treat applicants fairly. They will not require or pressure any applicant to undertake a predictive or diagnostic genetic test in order to obtain insurance. Please see the Code on Genetic Testing and Insurance for more information. This Code has been developed between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on behalf of its members and describes a shared agreement on the role of genetic testing in insurance.

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What if I have a complaint?

Dr Schell-Apacik strives to provide the best possible service for his patients. However, he recognises that sometimes you may feel that he has not met your needs. If you have any complaint or concern about the service, you have received you are entitled to ask for an explanation. Dr Schell-Apacik operates an in-house complaints procedure to deal with your complaint.

Please see the Patient Complaint Information Leaflet for more information.

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What is your safeguarding protocol?

Safeguarding is at the heart of what we do. It’s the responsibility of Schell Genetics and Dr Schell-Apacik to ensure the principles and duties of safeguarding are consistently and conscientiously applied, with the well-being of adults and children at the heart of all that is done.

Please see the Safeguarding Policy for more information.

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